On April 17th the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, together with the Permanent Missions of Indonesia and Liberia, organized a briefing at UN Headquarters on the global consultations on conflict, violence and disasters in the post-2015 development agenda.
The post-2015 consultations organized by the UNDG around the world have been aimed to determine what the new development goals should be and what we can do to make them more effective than the partly weak Millennium Development Goals which are due in 2015.
Discussion was moderated by News Agency Al Jazeera Network’s Bureau Chief, Abderrahim Foukara. He noted how sadly perfect the timing of this consultation was, given what had happened in Boston. “It reminds us that violence and disaster is not a monopoly of any certain part of the world. It touches everyone.”
Finnish Under-Secretary of State for Development, Anne Sipiläinen opened the discussion with welcoming words. She recapped some of the issues tackled at a consultation meeting, held in Helsinki on March 13th: “The Millennium Development Goals, though useful and practical, haven’t been adequately covering conflict and violence prevention.”
She reminded participants of the issue concerning violence against women and girls.
“We need an integrated, comprehensive and human rights -based approach.”
Panelists included Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of UNDP, Marjon V. Kamara, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to the UN, Yusra Khan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia, Ejeviome Eloho Otobo, Director and Deputy Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office and Andrew Tomlinson, Director of Quaker UN Office.
All panelists agreed upon the fact that conflict, violence and disaster must be made part of the post-2015 Development Agenda. The question of the method still remains: an overarching goal or integrating these issues into other possible goals?
”The MDGs have been a success in part and have surely saved lives, but there are some countries that haven’t achieved any of the goals”, Marjon V. Kamara reminded.
Andrew Tomlinson concurred. He said that success depends mostly on the fabric of society. “It is no use pouring water in a bucket that has holes in it. The holes must be fixed first.”
The panelists also agreed with the moderator on the fact that not only certain areas are subject to violence but it affects everyone in this world.
“The face of conflict today is the face of civil war and Syria, but Syria is not the only war or the only place in the world with violence”, Magdy Martínez-Solimán pointed out.
“We know that the world we want is a more secure and less violent one.”
The panelists also talked about gender-based violence and the Arms Trade Treaty and about how to bring these challenges an integral part of the post-2015 goals, including sustainable development goals.